Unless you’ve had any nearnings for the dot-com boom lately, Lycos probably isn’t a name you’ve thought about.
But now, the once-proud Internet brand is plotting a return to glory, apparently with a pair of wearable devices. A new website, titled “Lycos Life,” touts a $125 fitness band and a $60 smart ring, both of which will be available on June 8.
What sets these devices apart from the countless other wearables flooding the market? At the moment, that’s not so clear. Lycos advertises both products as “personal security managers,” which can use NFC pairing to bypass the lock screen on an Android phone, The Verge reports. Android already offers a similar feature over Bluetooth, letting users unlock their handsets when a trusted device (such as a smartwatch) is in range.
For good measure, the band will feature an “advanced fitness monitor,” but there’s no word on exact features. It will be waterproof, and will last 10 to 14 days on a charge according to The Verge, though the necessary smartphone companion app will only run on Android at first.
Lycos also plans to launch a non-profit foundation called Lycos Life Project, which will provide portable air and water quality sensors to families in need for free. The company says it will donate five percent of its band and ring sales to the project.
Why this matters: In lieu of any huge, game-changing features, Lycos’ road back to relevance will be fraught with obstacles, and no guarantees of safe passage. But hey, it’s Lycos, a company that hasn’t been the subject of a PCWorld.com since 2007. If the company wants to trade in nostalgia for press, we’re happy to oblige, at least this once.